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For more than a month now, a rumor has been swirling around Washington D.C. that the Obama administration was looking for a way to bypass Congress to make any changes to current U.S. immigration law. The rumor was that any changes to immigration would be made through executive order. This concept supposedly arose out of the Congressional Democrats unwillingness to take on yet another potentially explosive issue going into the November elections. Mid-term elections that they are expected to lose…badly. The rumor had become so prevalent, that several US Senators sent a letter to the White House seeking an answer as to the rumor’s veracity. The White House never responded.
On July 29, 2010, The National Review obtained a memo to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director, Alejandro N. Mayorkas that clearly indicates the White House is indeed planning on using executive orders and bureaucratic authority to ease the pain of illegal immigration on their future constituents. The Memo, titled “Administrative Alternatives to Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” was written by Denise Vanison, of the Office of Policy and Strategy. Ms. Vanison is the former director of the activist “Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs” among whose primary responsibilities were the protection of immigrant and refugee rights. Also on that list is famed immigration activist attorney and corporate big gun, Roxana Bacon who now serves in the Office of Chief Counsel.
The response from USCIS according to National Review:
“Internal draft memos do not and should not be equated with official action or policy of the Department. We will not comment on notional, pre-decisional memos. As a matter of good government, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will discuss just about every issue that comes within the purview of the immigration system. We continue to maintain that comprehensive bipartisan legislation, coupled with smart, effective enforcement, is the only solution to our nation’s immigration challenges.
Internal memoranda help us do the thinking that leads to important changes; some of them are adopted and others are rejected. Our goal is to implement policies wisely and well to strengthen all aspects of our mission. The choices we have made so far have strengthened both the enforcement and services sides of USCIS — nobody should mistake deliberation and exchange of ideas for final decisions. To be clear, DHS will not grant deferred action or humanitarian parole to the nation’s entire illegal immigrant population.”
This explanation would normally be laughable if the topic was not so serious. The title of the memo, “Administrative Alternatives to Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” does not indicate a brainstorming session. It is clearly a draft, as marked, with suggested corrections. This “draft” does not indicate the ideas put forward are “suggestions” for consideration but rather they are already firm and in place. It is merely the structure and the wording that is being modified. That would suggest a brainstorming session was held long ago. That ideas and alternatives had already been run up through the chain of command, in this case most assuredly the President himself, and then decided upon. This memo is a plan of action, not a plan of “what if.” To infer that this memo has the same value as a note dropped into the “suggestion box” by employees is outrageous and frankly, just plain stupid.
What this document is really about is President Obama’s determination to circumvent the Constitution in a classic “ends justify the means” example. Obama does not have the votes to get what he calls “comprehensive immigration reform” through Congress, despite overwhelming majorities in both houses. But that is how the process is supposed to work. The U.S. Constitution is riddled with checks and balances against the different branches of the government. The idea is that no one branch can become more powerful than the others. It is a truly ingenious design. However that does not seem to suit this President. The President, in a bold example of egomaniacal behavior, has decided that he does not need Congress to address immigration reform after all. This is a slippery slope to travel upon. Once President Obama takes such an obvious route around congressional authority, further abuses cannot be far behind.